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November 25th, 2011
Full Metal Panic- Chidori gives Sousuke a hair cut



To be honest I can't exactly point out why I like this scene so much. Maybe it's the tenderness that Chidori shows Sousuke, proving that she isn't just some run of the mill tsundere or maybe it's the very subdued nature of the scene. I don't know, but this scene just works to me.

Black Lagoon- Cigarette Kiss




Clannad After Story- Tomoya Apologizes *Major Spoiler Video*



I can't think of a more obvious scene to pick than this one. Up until this point the main protagonist Okazaki Tomoya has been a less than great father to his daughter Ushio. But, finally, as he begins to connect with her and repair there relationship, well, things come to a head.

Honey and Clover- Looking for a Four Leaf Clover



Just a beautiful scene, that is all there is to it. Perfectly summed up by Takemoto's wonderful monologue, this scene of the group of friends coming together in an attempt to find a four leaf clover for their departing teacher showcases the unique blend of melancholy and joy that Honey and Clover offers.

Fate/stay Night (VN) Unlimited Blade Works- Archer Vs. Shirou *Spoilers*



After a great deal of strife, Tohsaka Rin's servant Archer fight Emiya Shirou in a battle to the death over an ideal the former deems "impossible".

Fate/stay Night (VN) Fate- Saber and Shriou part. *Major Spoilers*



After their Final Battle, Shirou and Saber proceed to finish the Holy Grail War.


Neon Genesis Evangelion- Asuka mind screw scene



Okay, so I hesitate to call this a favorite scene. Because, after all, it's a scene where one of my favorite characters goes through severe mental anguish and torment but....I can't deny that this scene is incredibly memorable like the majority of the second half of this series.

Nichijou- Principal Vs. Deer



It's exactly what it sounds like.




Neon Genesis Evangelion- The Case of Rei Ayanami



This is the part of the series that seems to lose quite a bit of fans, as the series has dropped any and all pretext of action in favor of psychoanalyzing it's characters. This particular scene shows the mental anguish the normally silent Rei Ayanami goes through.

The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya- Conversation Under a Tree



My favorite scene of one of the best episode from this series, Live Alive. Up until now, Haruhi lives by her pace and never really helps anyone by her own volition. That is until she is asked to to take the place of an injured band member and, after the concert, she confides in Kyon how she feels about it, while displaying oh so subtle character development.

This scene works particularly well when you watch both series in chronological order.


Revolutinary Girl Utena- Shiori's Elevator Confession



Aside from Evangelion, nothing I've seen does raw emotion as well as Utena does. This scene showcases a supporting character, named Shiori, going through nearly every single emotion within two minutes. Excellent stuff and amazingly directed.

Posted by Ston3_FreeN7 | Nov 25, 2011 11:14 PM | 2 comments
November 8th, 2011
Fate/stay Night (VN)

Ever Present Feeling



Emiya



Madder Red Town



One Piece

Overtaken


The Very, Very, Very Strongest



Fight Back Sanji (Warning this actually has a spoiler for a fight scene in the CP9 Arc



Gold and Oden


Haha Naru Umi





Posted by Ston3_FreeN7 | Nov 8, 2011 9:30 PM | 2 comments
May 18th, 2011
Anime Relations: Hachimitsu to Clover, Monster, One Piece, Neon Genesis Evangelion, Neon Genesis Evangelion: The End of Evangelion, Kenpuu Denki Berserk, Rurouni Kenshin: Meiji Kenkaku Romantan - Tsuioku-hen, Gunslinger Girl, Juuni Kokuki, Seikai no Monshou, Boogiepop wa Warawanai, Seikai no Senki, Seikai no Senki II, Seikai no Senki III, Perfect Blue, Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex, Aria the Animation, Mimi wo Sumaseba, Koi Kaze, Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex 2nd GIG, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu, Mind Game, Nana, Top wo Nerae! Gunbuster, Aria the Natural, Touch, Hachimitsu to Clover II, Maison Ikkoku, Koukaku Kidoutai: Stand Alone Complex - Solid State Society, Clannad, Baccano!, Aria the OVA: Arietta, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu: Waga Yuku wa Hoshi no Taikai, Aria the Origination, Ginga Eiyuu Densetsu Gaiden, Clannad: After Story, Suzumiya Haruhi no Yuuutsu (2009), Suzumiya Haruhi no Shoushitsu, Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei
To celebrate my reaching my 400th anime completed (Yes, I do care about stuff like that) I have compiled a list of my top 25 favorite anime. I figured it would be interesting to see how my tastes have changed over the last 200 something anime I've watched. And they have.

EDIT: By default in multiple season series the first season will be used as the entry, but later season will be considered as part of the entry ( Such as Clannad and Clannad After Story)

Also, there are going to be inconsistencies with my ratings and placing on this list. But, there is a difference in favorite and overall quality.

Anything that has a * and a number was on my list the first time around, the number is where the work previously placed. It is interesting to note that many of these entries are new to the list.



25. Koi Kaze (2004)



Imagine, if you will, an anime series that approaches the theme of incest in a mature, morally grey manner. Imagine the characters being 3 dimensional, not just brain dead people who "I like my sister, cause' she's hoooot." No... these characters fight with a desire they know is deemed wrong in society. If you come to this series with an open mind, you'll be rewarded with one of the absolute best romances in anime. Morally taboo or not.

The following is a preview of a segment of the first episode



24.The Twelve Kingdoms (Juuni Kokuki) (2002-2003)



The Premise of this anime series has been done before in series like Fushigi Yuugi(which I haven't seen) but the growth of protagonist Youko Nakajima is the stuff of legends as she has the greatest character turns in anime. Other people similarly grow throughout the series, and the world building and overall writing is astounding.

This would have reached much higher on the list, had it covered the numerous loose ends and had it had a more satisfying ending. That, or cut it an arc short.

Preview of the First Episode:



23. Whisper of the Heart (1995)



I'll be honest: I am not a particularly big fan of Studio Ghibli's works. Aside from possibly Princess Mononoke( which I didn't like either), I'd be quick to call them childish and perhaps preachy.

So, why is a movie by Ghibli setting pretty on my favorite anime list? Whisper of the Heart just has that "something" that makes it impossible for me to deny the quality of this work. Maybe it's the fantastic scene of Shizuku Tsukishima and Seiji Amasawa playing the absolutely beautiful "Take Me Home, Country Roads", maybe it's the aforementioned character's positively charming relationship that gives this movie a very real sense of "heart"?

All I know is this is my favorite out of the Ghibli Collection.

The following is a trailer of Whisper of the Heart



22. Mind Game (2004)



Mind Game is an anime I can see as a love it/hate it kind of affair. I mean the movie is positively strange, a fact many of my comrades in Critic and Connoisseurs handily pointed out.

But, you see, Mind Game is so much fun that I could care less. There's so many ideas such as heroism and running away from your faults mixed, shaken, and stirred then thrown into a blender together that it is ridiculous. Even so, the art style, incorporating a heavy dose of surrealism, and imagination (Whale chase scene anyone?) make this movie work. Truly one of a kind.

The following is a Trailer of Mind Game:



21.Touch (1985-1987)



Combining baseball and a coming of age tale focusing on two twin brothers and there female best friend, Touch is probably still my favorite sports anime to this day. The first season has some of the best romance I've seen in anime, as the brothers Kazuya and Tatsuya Uesugi have to deal with their own relationship while coming to terms with their growing attraction to Minami Asakura.

While I didn't enjoy the second half as much, which introduces a antagonist like coach and tries to force to much outside interference on the main romance, I will say that this series as a whole is of a definite high quality and is clearly deserving of being as highly thought of as it is.

Sadly, I couldn't find any videos for this series.


20. Baccano! (2007) *9



Over the top, is probably the most accurate description of this series. Baccano!, even in the most serious of situations, never seems to take itself too seriously. This tale of immortals, mobsters, insane hitmen, cowardly bad asses, crazy thieves, and a certain Rail Tracer never failed to entertain me.

The Trailer of Baccano!




19.Crest/Banner of the Stars (2000-2005) *12



Following Lafiel Abriel, the captain of a ship called the Basroil in Abh empire, and her crew; Banner of the Star has an untold amount of depth to the galaxy it takes place in, as well as the Abh themselves.

At it's heart, however, is an incredibly well-done love story between Lafiel and her old friend Jinto Linn. Their relationship is understated, but every time the two of them speak to one another is almost always a great scene.

Banner of the Stars II takes this to a whole other level as Lafiel is forced to decide between Jinto and the mission, when he is stuck on a planet full of escaped convicts. The only thing keeping this series is the rather dull twin brother as well as the likewise dull space battles.





18. Clannad (2007-2009) *3



Tomoya Okazaki, self-admittedly, hates the town he lives in. It represents his stagnant relationship with his father, as well as the fact that many people at the school he goes to treat him as something of an outcast, a social misfit. Then, he meets a older girl named Nagisa Furukawa who seemingly has it even worse than him. No body even attempts to relate to her, as she is sickly and thus isn't around school often. Being drawn to her, he decides to help her create a theater club.

What follows is a story of happiness, love, drama, sadness,redemption, and heartbreak. Along with a second chance.

Sporting one of the more controversial endings.

Preview of first episode



17.Boogiepop Phantom (2000)



Boogiepop Phantom was an admittedly difficult show for me to get into initially, when I first attempted to watch it I just couldn't get into the constant switching of character perspective each episode. I ended up buying the DVD set and watched the live action prequel movie and, although it did ruin the mystery of Boogiepops identity, I felt as though it went a long way to set up my interest for the tv series.

So, with renewed interest, I jumped into the tv series which delves into some dark and disturbing subject matter. The atmosphere is so thick, you could probably cut it with a butter knife. Also, the story gets genuinely interesting the latter you get into the series. Unique, refreshing, and generally awesome. How could this not be a favorite of mine?

Preview of first episode



16. Perfect Blue (1998) *23




I think everyone who knows anime, knows the big blow the industry took when Satoshi Kon left this world. Perfect Blue is his very first animated film and, in my opinion, his best.

After Mima Kirigoe abandons her life as a pop idol and is forced into more and more questionable movie roles, she begins to be seemingly stalked by a fan. What follows is a story of paranoia, dreams, murder, hallucinations, dementia, and all kinds of mindfuckery that all comes together in the end.

Trailer



15.Berserk (1997-1998)



Guts, Griffith, and Casca are fantastic characters. I wanted to say that at the very beginning of this comment. Now think about it, Berserk should have been just a hack and slash series right? Well, in many ways it is. However, it just so happens to have some of the greatest characterization I've seen in anime. That's no small feat, if you ask me. Also, the ending is great in an anticlimactic sort of way.

Preview of second episode



14.Gunbuster (Top wo Nerae) (1988-1989) *2



This series greatly influenced Neon Genesis Evangelion, and has a more likable lead in Noriko Takaya. Once you strip away the first few episodes with mecha's doing push ups as a form of "training" you get a series that at least tries to be scientifically correct and tells a fantastic coming of age story. Not to mention.. "Gunbuster, Sayonara."

All I could find was a trailer in spanish or something:


13.Nana (2006-2007)



I loved the music for this series. I loved the characters. I loved the positively genuine friendship between Nana Komatsu and Nana Osaki. I loved the evolution that, not just the two main characters went through, but also many of the others. I loved the unflinching "it isn't the end of the world when a relationship doesn't work out" take on romance. I didn't, however, like the lack of an ending. But, oh well, nothings perfect right?

Preview of First episode



12.Gunslinger Girl (2003-2004)




I'll say it right now, Gunslinger Girl was one hell of a surprise. Before I watched this series, if you'd told me a show with a premise such "little girls with big guns" would be one of the absolute greatest anime series I'd ever run across. Well, I'd probably say that you're crazy.

But, with a combination of great writing, fantastic music, and impeccable characterization; Gunslinger Girl is just that: one of the best anime I've seen. This tale of little girls getting a second chance at life, while having to give up their humanity in more ways than one never loses sight of the morally "wrong" subject matter. In fact, the series runs with it. As it happens, I wouldn't have it any other way.

Preview of first episode



11.Ghost In the Shell: Stand Alone Complex (2002-2006) *8


At first glance Stand Alone Complex appears to be a dumbed down version of the 1995 movie classic, but that isn't true at all. Many people don't know, and neither did I until I started reading the original manga, that Ghost in the Shell itself was originally a high tech cop story like this tv series. The movie just took the most interesting story of the puppeteer and ran with that.

Any who, SAC works as entertainment as well as a mentally engaging story of, you guessed it, individuality and copycats. Throughout all this Motoko, as well as Batou to a smaller degree, comes to terms with her sense of self. I think the core concept of retaining our humanity in a world where bodies can be replaced by cybernetics easily is fascinating, and it's represented well here in the form of a wristwatch and weights.

The second season may be even better as it has tighter pacing, intriguing villains, more character development, and several hints at the past of eternally mysterious Motoko Kusanagi's past.

Trailer



10.Yojouhan Shinwa Taikei (2010)



In a way, Tatami Galaxy channels the movie Groundhog Day in that the nameless protagonist has to relive a certain period of time over and over again. Except he is apparently unaware of this and he also leads vastly different lives at college, but it's not easy living a "Rose Colored Campus School Life" and Watashi figures that out the hard way as he is constantly screwed over by his "friend" Ozu in every one of his "Galaxy's".

A tough series to really talk about without spoiling anything..I'll just say that Tatami Galaxy is one of the most memorable and surprisingly thought provoking anime I've seen.

A Trailer



9.Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya/ Disappearance of Haruhi Suzumiya (2006-2010) *7



You know, if it wasn't for The Melancholy of Haruhi Suzumiya I may of not seen all the other anime I've seen in the last few years. You see, there was a time when, after I got over all the anime shown on Toonami and the like, that I just wasn't in contact with the media anymore. But, I was surfing You Tube one day and just so happened to run across this series. "Why not?" I thought.

I fell in love with this show, I found (and still do) Haruhi's "Do whatever the fuck I want to" attitude to be charming and, as I've re-watched this series countless times, I've discovered the well written characterization and depth this series has. The recent movie, Disappearance, adds even more depth to it's characters, particularly series protagonist Kyon and the (up until then) all so subtly characterized Nagato.

I still go back to this series time and time again, and I probably love it more each time.

Preview of First episode:



8.Aria (2005-2008) *4



Aria focuses on the beauty of everyday life, objects, activities, and the world. Viewed through the eyes of Akari Mizunashi and those around her, this anime really drives home the fact that life, no matter how mundane, is beautiful.

Origination takes this a step further, and shows Akari, Aika, and Alice mature right before our very eyes.

A Trailer



7.Monster (2004-2005)



A moral dilemma of epic proportions, Monster tells the story of a doctor named Kenzou Tenma as he attempts to end the very life he helped save. One of the things Monster does exceptionally well is developing it's characters, no matter how seemingly insignificant they may appear to be. And, despite what some people may wish to believe, every episode of this 74 episode series has a part to play in the mystery of Johan.

Johan Liebert may be one of the most intriguing and interesting villains I've come across in anime and the way his, and his sister Anna's, past is unraveled is definitely one of the highlights of this series. Monster also does a great job of peering into the human psyche and makes the viewer wonder.."What exactly does make someone a Monster?" and better yet.."Who is the Monster?"

Preview of first episode



6.Rurouni Kenshin: Tsuiokuhen (1999) *6



Probably as close as i've ever come to see a movie similar to an Akira Kurosawa movie in animated form, Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal is violent and very gritty. Yet, the violence of the anime only serves to help the story of a young Samurai trying to change his life. Eventually, the story evolves into a romance that, quite literally, changes Kenshin Himura's life and ways. One of the most beautiful movies i've seen, that defines the term "Must Watch". Absolutely fantastic animation and music as well.

Just please make sure to watch this in Japanese.

First 10 minutes of first episode



5.Legend of the Galactic Heroes (1988-1997)



I'm sure some people will look at my anime list notice the 10 and then see this series at this place on the list and probably go, "huh?" Put the fact is, even though Legend of the Galactic Heroes is definitely one of the finest anime I've ever had the pleasure to see, there are many anime I enjoyed far more than it. If this was a list of the best anime I've seen, then clearly this series would have moved a few spaces up the list.

Whether it would crack the top 5 I don't know, as it is extremely difficult to make a list purely objectively.

Anyway, sporting fantastic characters, genuinely intriguing politics, violence that actually manages to effectively portray the horrors of war, and a protagonist that has one of the absolutely best hairstyles in anime. Also, this series has some of the best death scenes in the business and that is not hyperbole.

First Opening



4.One Piece (1999-Never)



Honestly, I've broken my own rule because of this series. I originally disliked the idea of having an ongoing series in my favorite list, but at this rate One Piece may go on for quite a while. But, I can't think of a much better series to break my rule for.

One Piece started VERY slow, as in I just didn't care much for the first few arcs. But, as Protagonist Monkey D. Luffy gradually got new new crew mates, the series picked up it's pace and really took off after the first five crew member officially came together in the Arlong Arc and from then on, aside from a few pacing issues and a few other problems inherent with the shounen action genre, One Piece does the seemingly impossible and actually seems to get better as it goes on.

The Straw Hat Crew is also comprised of some of the most likable and memorable characters I've ever seen and everyone has a story, a reason for being with Luffy's crew, and, for the record, One Piece probably has some of the most memorable anime scenes I've experienced. Great music too.

First Opening:



3. Honey and clover (2005-2006) *5



Honey and Clover tells the story of 5 five college Art Students and one Professor and their experiences in life, love, and friendship with a heavy dose of comedy and melancholy. With some of the most relate-able characters I've ever seen, indeed it's almost as though Yamada and Takemoto ARE me in the way they experience things, and some of the best handled dialogue and music, Honey and Clover is one for the books folks.

And, as crazy as it may sound, the second season takes it to another level. It could be argued that H&C II packs to much drama for it's own good (an argument of which I disagree with), but it can't be denied that it takes the seemingly perfect geniuses of Morita and and Hagumi and makes them truly great characters. It was interesting to take a peak into the mind of a genius.

Oh, and please don't let the art style get in the way..this is one of the greatest anime ever made. I truly believe that.

Preview of 1st episode



2. Maison Ikkoku (1986-1988)



Now I've never been much of a fan of Takashi Rumiko (even though I've only really seen a bit of Inuyasha and am only just recently trying out some of her manga works), but she really got it right with Maison Ikkoku. Part of this is because main characters Godai and Kyoko are so god damn charming and likable, part of this is because of their strong growth as people, and another part of this is because the final episodes of this series are up there with the best anime has ever had to offer.

Of course, Godai can come off as..rather pathetic at times and Kyoko is apparently very easily misunderstood..but trust me when I say that this series is definitely worth it.

The following is the preview of a segment of the first episode



1.Neon Genesis Evangelion/The End of Evangelion (1995-1997) *1



With an excellent cast of characters and director Hideaki Anno's willingness to show the viewer the flaws of us humans, this series is, at it's heart, a study of it's characters and what drives them. Make no mistake, the characters of Evangelion aren't "Likable" in the least but that was never the point in any case.

I guess my favorite thing about the Eva franchise is it's portrayal of the character's psychological problems and their struggle to overcome these issues. Science also plays a large part in the battles, which is apparent given how much thought is given to defeat the angels. The soundtracks great, the voice work in both the sub and dub is very well done, and this series just provides some of the most thought provoking subjects I've seen in anime.

It's a series that is a "Must Watch" no matter if the viewer ultimately enjoys it or not, it's truly an anime milestone whether everyone likes it or not.

The following is a preview of a segment of the first episode:



** Honorable mentions go to Kimi Ga Nozumu Eien, Death Note, Higurashi, Ghost in the Shell, Maria-sama Ga Miteru, FLCL, Trigun, Cowboy Bebop, Toradora, Full Metal Panic, and Simoun. These are shows that made the list the first time, but did not make the cut this time around.

In any case, here we are my top 25 favorite anime of all time..will all of these still be around next time I make a list? Who knows..
Posted by Ston3_FreeN7 | May 18, 2011 7:01 PM | 15 comments
May 14th, 2011
There will be more these are just the ones I could find for now

Walk To Arlong Park


Entering the Grand Line


Hililuk's Death


Zoro Defeats Mr.1


Luffy Defeats Crocodile

Unfortunately, this video seems to omit my favorite scene of this episode. Which is, when Luffy knocks Crocodile into the sky, the scene cuts to Vivi who is crying in disbelief. At least, I think that was how it went..instead this just cuts to her for a brief second and then Crocodile falls to the ground.





Farewell Vivi



Luffy Defeats Bellamy with One Punch


Luffy Vs. Usopp


Merry's Funeral



I Want To Live


Bink's Sake


Luffy Punches a Tenryuubito




Posted by Ston3_FreeN7 | May 14, 2011 12:43 AM | 9 comments
May 13th, 2011
Anime Relations: One Piece
Shortly after leaving Thriller Bark the Straw Hat's arrive at the Red Line, which is basically the "gateway" before they can go to the "New World" and then happen meet a mermaid named Keimi and her starfish pet, as they try to figure out a way to cross over. Keimi says she is from the Fishman Island which is the only hope for the crew to make it across the Red Line.

Keimi is soon told that her friend Hatchin has been kidnapped and the Straw Hat's decide to help her, only to discover Hatchin is the same octopus guy who was part of Arlong's crew. After a bit of deliberation, Nami convinces the other crew members to save her former tormentor who has been captured by a man named Duval and his slave traders. To add even more intrigue, Duval apparently has some sort of issue with Sanji.

Eventually, Luffy knocks the guy's mask off to reveal that he looks EXACTLY like Sanji's wanted poster. Sanji proceeds to restructure Duval's face, I always knew he was a good guy.

Hatchin eventually tells the Straw Hat's of a place called Sabaody Archipelago where the crew will have to get a special coating to make the Thousand Sunny able to go under the sea into the Fishman Island. But, when they arrive their and while he is teaching them a bit about how the Archipelago works, he tell's them of the Tenryuubito. These people are the descendants of the people who created the World Government and, so, can not be touched no matter what they do.

The Tenryuubito have slaves and shoot anyone who gets in their way in cold blood, as Luffy and a few other crew members find out as they search for a man named Rayleigh the guy who can give the Sunny the coating it needs. During all this Luffy makes a promise with Hatchin to not attack a Tenryuubito no matter if they kill someone in cold blood or do any other dastardly deed, as they have the "power" to call an Admiral to kill anyone they wish.

Eventually Luffy learns of other "rookie" pirates with over 100 million berri bounties called the "Supernova's of which Trafalgar Law and Eustass Kid are a part of. Luffy and Zoro are also part of the Supernova's and only Kid has a higher bountythan Luffy.

During, Luffy and the others trip at an amusement park Keimi is kidnapped and eventually sold to a Slave Auction house which eventually results in Nami, Chopper, Sanji, Hatchin, and Franky watching on as one of the Tenryuubito attempts to buy her. Right when he attempts to Luffy and Zoro crash into the auction house and the former runs to attempt to save her.

In an attempt to stop Luffy from having the entire Marine force wrath brought down on him, Hatchin holds him back with all of his hands. During the course of this arc, it is shown that the people of Sabaody have a strong prejudice against Fishmen and, as a result, one of the Tenryuubito shoots him.

Luffy and the other Straw Hat's look on in horror then, despite Hatchin's pleading to stop, Luffy proceeds to punch the smug Tenryuubito in the face:

I should probably point out that this is THE scene that got me interested in watching this series, so it was very cool to finally see it in context. I had no idea then, however, that this punch is single handedly responsible for the events that could potentially change the series.

As a result of this punch, Admiral Kizaru and his fleet attacks Sabaody and the pirates currently there.As a result, Luffy teams up with Kid and Law to break out of the Auction house but not before Rayleigh saves Keimi. Eventually, Rayleigh tells the Straw Hat's of his past as Gold Roger's First Mate and how Shanks, Crocus, and Buggy were a part of his crew as well.

Also, he reveals that Roger had NEVER been caught, he had instead caught a incurable disease and had decided to turn himself in shortly after conquering the Grand Line and obtaining the Pirate King title. He then used this opportunity to ignite the fire that is the "Great Pirate Age" and inspire people such as Shank's to lead the new pirate age. Of course, Luffy was inspired by this as well.

In fact, Roger's crew had also discovered the secret of the Rio Poneglyph, and the "Will of D." that Robin had discovered way back on Skypeia. Usopp attempts to ask Rayleigh if the "One Piece" is real or not, but Luffy emphatically yells that, should Rayleigh tell them, he will quit being a pirate. This is understandable, as it would pretty much defeat Luffy's purpose as a pirate if it isn't real.


After this information overload, the Straw Hat's attempt to split up...but never get the chance as they are then attacked by a "pacifista", a robot who looks just like Bartholomew Kuma and apparently has a few attacks similar to Kizara's light based attacks. During the course of this, the other Supernova are attacked by other Pacifista as well as a few unlucky ones being attacked by Kizara himself.

Kid and Law team up, but it's never revealed whether they won their battle or not. I'm sure they did however. Meanwhile, the Straw Hat's (led by Luffy, Zoro, and Sanji) defeat their opponent. Only for Sentoumaru, who works in the Marine science department, and another Pacifista to attack them. Luffy orders the group to run, as they are obviously to tired to win the battle.

Unfortunately, Kizara appears and attacks Zoro, severely injuring him. During this, Rayleigh appears and attacks the admiral, saving the Swordsman. But, just as it seemed things had finally made a turn for the better, the REAL Bartholomew Kuma appears on the battle field and makes Zoro "disappear."

Despite the crews efforts, and Luffy's pleading, Kuma proceeds to make every single one of the Straw Hat's disappear in front of him. In one of the most powerful sequences the series has produced, Straw Hat Luffy recollects all of his meetings with his crew mates and, before he himself "disappears", cries as he says, "I couldn't protect even a single one of my friends." I proceeded to cry like a bitch.

The Narrator ends the episode, and the arc, saying that this was the annihilation of the Straw Hat Pirates. Of course, that is highly doubtful. But, what I am intrigued about is HOW this will effect the Straw Hat Crew going forward. Particularly the almost always confident Luffy. And, thus ends what could be the best arc in the series I've seen.
Posted by Ston3_FreeN7 | May 13, 2011 10:05 PM | 4 comments
May 10th, 2011
Anime Relations: One Piece
After a (very) short break from One Piece, I jumped into the Thriller Bark arc. The arc started out very amusingly with the Straw Hat's meeting a walking talking Skeleton named "Dead Bones" Brook. I remember seeing some art of Brook long before actually even starting One Piece, but I never in my life imagined this character to be so god damn hilarious. Seriously, Brook has to be seen to be believed.

Soon after meeting him, the Straw Hats and Brook are swept into the Island known as Thriller Bark of which later is revealed to be a huge ship (the biggest in the world, in fact) and the crew is lead by Moria, one of the Sichibukai (I KNOW I butchered the name), who can apparently "cut off" the shadow of a person and transport it into a Zombie, giving said creature the abilities and (for a little while) the personality of it's user. In this case, he eventually cut's off Sanji, Zoro, and Luffy's (in that order) shadow. Leaving Robin and Franky in the position to have save their three crew mates.

Meanwhile, Nami is hounded by Moria subordinate named Absalom who is apparently grafted together by many different animal parts and has the ability to turn invisible. More importantly, the dude wants to marry Nami which is, fortunately, played for mainly comedic affect. Usopp and Chopper are just along for the ride, for the most part. The three of them eventually bear witness to Luffy's shadow being transported into the ancient giant name "Odz", of who is basically the "main" enemy during this arc.

Eventually, Brook meets up with Robin and Franky to tell them of how to defeat the Zombies and where Luffy and the others were brought to, which is the Thousand Sunny. The crew sans Nami, who has been kidnapped by Absalom, sets out to defeat the enemies and save their comrade. Along with reclaiming their shadows and, as Luffy insists, getting some food.

Eventually, Sanji beats the shit out of Absalom (who is later defeated by Nami herself) only to nearly get crushed by the recently awakened Odz. Zoro, Sanji,Robin, Chopper, Usopp, and later Brook proceed to hand the giant bastard his ass. Meanwhile, Luffy has met up with some crew members who had their shadows stolen as well and proceed to give him a "power up" to beat the giant Odz.

Nami comes face to face with Bartholomew Kuma, another Shichibukai who has come to assist Moria in his efforts to defeat the Straw Hat crew. Moria, however, denies his offer to assist him and instead proceeds to pilot Odz who, eventually, proceeds to defeat everyone except Nami and Usopp.

Luffy, in Nightmare form, then joins the battle and, in one of the coolest fight scenes thus far in the series, proceeds to beat Odz's Zombie ass. Unfortunately this isn't enough as, after Luffy loses his powers, Odz proceeds to get back up only to be put down by the combined efforts of the entire Straw Hat crew.

Unfortunately, the crew has no time to celebrate their victory as Kuma proceeds to attack Zoro and eventually knocks everyone unconscious except for Zoro and Sanji. Zoro, in an insanely memorable scene, knocks Sanji unconscious and proceeds to attempt to give his life to save his captain and crews lives. Kuma instead uses his power to make Zoro feel all the suffering Luffy has faced throughout the battles at Thriller Bark, and leaves there after.

Sanji, along with the other Straw Hats, wakes up to find Zoro standing with blood and bruises all over his body...somehow still very much alive. Folks, One Piece just gave us viewers yet another great moment.

During the obligatory (and always a personal favorite obligation imo, as these guy EARNED this celebration) victory party, Brook's past is finally revealed as he sings a song he long recorded with former crew mates, as they all lay dying after a battle in the Grand Line.

The song is for Laboon, the very Whale the Straw Hat's came across at the very beginning of the journey in the Grand Line. It is revealed over the course of the arc that Brook's crew was the one which had left Laboon at the entrance and that the skeleton musician still wishes to meet his friend again one day. He joins the crew after Luffy tell him they had already met Laboon during the course of their journey.

Now that my summary is over I want to comment on what I thought of this arc. First of all, I find the contrasting reactions Nami's group and Luffy's group have to the denizens of Thriller Bark to be hilarious. Also, I think pacing definitely improved compared to the sometimes dull Ennies Lobby arc (which is honestly probably one of my least favorite arcs overall).

That said, the pacing was very much slowed down during the middle half of the arc. Though things got very interesting when the Straw Hat's fought Odz and Kuma landed on the ship. Unfortunately, Moria himself was a weak villain in that it was obvious all that he had was his Shadow powers and never would have had a chance of winning if he actually fought fairly. Of course, as the characters have said throughout the series, fairness isn't exactly a quality of most pirates.

But, it was so great to see the teamwork the Straw Hat's showed during this arc and, even though the individual battles, though only Sanji, Zoro (a great fight scene), and Usopp had a proper one I believe, were weak the fight against Odz made up for it. I'd love to see stuff like this more throughout the series.

And, oh boy, Kuma I'm genuinely intrigued about this guy as he gave the Straw Hats a beating much like Aokiji did. I also think Brook's past is my personal favorite since Nami's way back in the Arlong arc.

In any case, let's see where it goes from here.

Posted by Ston3_FreeN7 | May 10, 2011 5:50 PM | 6 comments